Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Might Health Insurers Respond to Medical Loss Ratio Regulation? -- Seeking Alpha

As Washington continues to micro-manage various industries via royal decree, it is becoming increasingly evident that Congress is afflicted by some combination of the following conditions:
  1. Ignorance of industry specific business models
  2. An inability to read financial statements
  3. Willful disregard of #s 1 and 2
  4. Delusions of grandeur

Whether or not you agree with the sentiment on this particular issue (health reform), I think you'll agree that the writing is awfully good - and funny. Carneades, I salute you.

Posted via web from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

MentionMap's Gorgeous Twitter Visualizations

I'm a big fan of social network analysis as a means to understand the connection between individuals and groups ... especially if those networks can be visualized in helpful ways. My friend Mathias Kolehmainen (the guy who actually built the Tweet Positioning System) turned me on to this site today, and I was blown away.

MentionMap is a living visualization of your twitter network, showing the connection between you and the individuals with whom you interact, and even the hashtags you use. I can guarantee that you'll learn something about your network - and the mesh of connections it contains - that you didn't know. For example, I didn't know that Chris Hall had connected to Fran Melmed ... Chris and I work together; Fran and I are going to be hosting a TweetChat together. Amazing. Check out MentionMap to see what you can learn from your network ... and let me know what other great network visualization tools you love. I want more!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Edelman hires Armano; sees spike in Twitter reaction

One of the things I love about TPS (the Tweet Positioning System) is that you can get a sense of trending topics really easily. A nice example is happening now ...

Last night, David Armano (a true Twitter celebrity with over 22,000 followers) announced that he would be joining Edelman Digital as a senior vice president. At that point, the search term "Edelman," which was toddling along at 50-100 tweets per day, shot up to over 1,000. [You can see it yourself, here].

It's also pretty neat to be able to see where those tweets are coming from; I zoomed my map over to Europe and found conversation happening in places as diverse as Austria, Turkey, Moldova and Sweden.

Where are people talking about you and your business? And are you measuring to see what can make that conversation accelerate? I'd love to have you check out TPS and let me know what you think; it's been a boon for our business, but I'd like to see how it might impact yours.

Posted via web from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Saturday, December 12, 2009

LinkedIn Premium - why so expensive?

I am a big fan of LinkedIn.  I've been using it for years, and have gotten more and more value from the connections I've made using it.  But I confess to being a little puzzled about their premium memberships.  For those of you who are unaware, anyone can use LinkedIn for free, as a tool to connect with people they know either personally or professionally.  Most people consider it to be something like "the professional version of facebook."  And most companies will allow employees to access it from inside their firewalls (even mine, which blocks such evil sites as Google Documents). 

The free version of LinkedIn allows you to connect to people you know ... and a circuitous way to connect to people you don't.  That's all well and good.  But the premium versions allow you to do much more ... things like organizing profiles, reaching out to people outside your network, seeing who's searched for and viewed your profile, etc.  They seem to think that they only people who'd be interested in more than the free version are recruiters, who would be willing to pay the $24.95, $49.95 or $499.95 per month they charge for that increased level of access.

But what about the individual networkers, who want to access at least some of that functionality on their own?  It's clearly time for an upgraded individual subscription to LinkedIn, for some reasonable amount ... $14.95 per year, or $1.99 per month or something like that.  What do you think?  Would you pay for enhanced access to LinkedIn?  What's it worth to you?

Greg Matthews 

Posted via email from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Sunday, December 6, 2009

TPS Search of the Day

I'm a regular participant in a wonderful online group called HealthCareSocialMedia, or HealthSocMed for short. I've gotten to know many of the participants pretty well - although I've met only one in person. This group is what's known as a "TweetChat" - a group that uses Twitter as a meeting tool. Check out my blog post on Twitter, Social Media and Healthcare for more information on how and why TweetChats are interesting and valuable.

Anyway, one of the rules of the group (actually I think it may be the only rule) is that you're not allowed to pitch your products in the meetings. I have to confess that I kinda broke that rule just now ... by introducing the group to the Tweet Positioning System, and showing the folks where we were all tweeting from. The novelty of it seemed to keep anyone from getting too upset.
So what are you interested in? Who's talking about it, and where do they live? Get out to the TweetPositioningSystem and check it out!

21st Century American Art

Pearls Before Swine

It is my opinion - nay, belief - that Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine represents the apex of American art in the dawning 21st century. It's even begun to be referenced among its competition - today by the brilliant Bill Amend of Foxtrot:

Greg Matthews

Posted via email from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TPS Search of the day - guess where people are talking about Indiana Basketball?

If you guessed, "Indiana," YOU'RE RIGHT! Although there are a few conversations out of state, the hoosier state is primarily talking about itself.

How about you ... what are the things that interest you? Try running a search on TPS and saving it over time ... you might be surprised what you find.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Putting fitness on the map

I've been really excited to be able to launch the health industry's first twitter monitoring tool - the Tweet Positioning System. Thousands of people have used it to track online conversations that are important to them - in real time - and with geographic relevance.

Now we're taking it up a notch, though. Instead of hoarding all of that valuable data, you can share your searches with the world ... on your blog, your facebook page, etc. So I'm launching a new permanent* feature on CHIMOOSE TALKS NONSENSE ... the "TPS Search of the Day**." My inaugural search is for Twit2Fit, an online fitness community that I've been a part of for the last several months. It was a community that had its start right here in Louisville, but has now quite clearly gone national.

So your call to action, dear readers, is manifold.
  1. Be sure to run your favorite search at (don't forget to save it! There's a button below the map!), then post the widget on your blog (yes, there is ANOTHER button below the map for that!). More widgets (including a sidebar widget) will be available over the coming weeks.
  2. Check out Twit2Fit and think about joining up; it's been good to have that online encouragement in my fitness program
  3. Check back often to Chimoose Talks Nonsense for the featured TPS search of the day; I'll do what I can to keep it interesting!
* In this context, "permanent" should be interpreted as "as long as it amuses me to maintain the status quo"
** In this context, "search of the day" should be interpreted as "the most recent search I happened to put out there" rather than any reference to any actual time period

Monday, November 9, 2009

Native American Bunny with Bow and Arrow

One of my kindergartner's more creative subjects. I'm glad that she has chosen to focus on aboriginal bunnies vs the European imports.

Posted via web from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What's Thwarting American Innovation?

Those of you who know me, know that I grew up "corporate." Over the years I've acquired a passion for helping businesses grow and transform. And I have had some great opportunities to do that at companies like Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), Braun Consulting (now a division of Fair Isaac) and Humana.

After working for the last two years under Jack Lord and Grant Harrison in Humana's innovation center, I have totally changed the way that I think about growth and transformation ... and about innovation. I was intrigued by a headline in Fast Company this week ... "What's Thwarting American Innovation? Too Much Science, Says Roger Martin." The headline caught my eye for two reasons ... first, I knew that my colleague Miguel Encarnação, PhD, would hate it. As he already considers me a Philistine of the first order, I forwarded it to him for the sheer entertainment value of his reaction (I wasn't disappointed). The second reason is that I had the opportunity to hear Roger Martin speak at the Business Innovation Factory's 5th annual collaborative innovation summit last month.

Roger's warning for American business is not against science ... far from it. His warning is that innovation doesn't necessarily come from America's vaunted MBA mills (McKinsey is called out specifically in the article - though I certainly have nothing against McKinsey).
"The business world is tired of having armies of analysts descend on their companies," he says. "You can't send a 28-year-old with a calculator to solve your problems."
While I think that Mr. Martin (it's really, really hard not to call him "Dean Martin" a la "Back to School") is a little rough on the big strategy firms, he does have a point: Their job, and their foundation, is not innovation. Innovation comes from a completely different place. I've had great experiences working with McKinsey and other strategy firms, but I haven't asked them to design any products for me. And Martin's argument is that design thinking is much more important to teach for companies who are truly trying to differentiate themselves and drive long-term competitive advantage.

I have a feeling that there's a lot more to say on this subject (I may just turn a book review of Martin's tome into a series of blog posts), but in the meantime I can send you back to my favorite personal example of how design thinking (rather than "corporate strategy") changed the way my team at Humana approached innovation: "Why wellness doesn't work" from the blog.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Featured Social Network -

Hey, everybody! I am really excited (and a little nervous) to be co-hosting the Quick 'n' Dirty podcast with Jennifer Leggio tonight on Blog Talk Radio (
As always, there will be a "featured social network of the week" - and this week, it's I haven't done a ton with it, but I am impressed by how easy they're making video sharing. I decided it would be a good idea to do a little mini-promo on 12seconds in advance of the show.
Be sure to tune in tonight at 3pm PST/6 EST.

Posted via web from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We love Google

During my latest trip to Mountain View, I had the chance to visit the Google Store on campus (much like every google product, it claims to be in "beta." Cute.) Anyway, I am just geeky enough to buy google-wear, so I came home with stuff for my team at work (@naimul and @hallicious each got a shirt) AND for my family.

Here are E and I showing off our swag.

Posted via web from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The W Flag

The W Flag
Originally uploaded by ChiMoose
For the last 20 years, I have wanted to own one of the "W" flags that are flown over the old scoreboard at Wrigley Field. Now, thanks to my wonderful wife, I do.

Go Cubs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TPS goes to Sweden

I had to post this tweet from Stefan Ronge of Stockholm ... it's the first foreign-language reference to our new TweetPositioningSystem that I am aware of.  And yes, I did check first to make sure it doesn't say, "Yet another crappy piece of twitter-dreck."  Can you guess, without using an online translator, what it does say?

Posted via email from chimoose is (pre)posterous

Monday, October 19, 2009

Greg's on the radio!

Webw Chicago Greg Interview by Innovation Center  
Download now or listen on posterous
WBEW Chicago Greg Interview.mp3 (15508 KB)

Had a great time this morning on this (all too brief) interview for public radio station WBEW (a sister to Chicago's mighty WBEZ).  Thanks to Adam and Steve from for pulling it all together.  In case the file doesn't play here, you can link to the WBEW site to listen.

Greg Matthews 

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous

When it's nice to come to work in the morning

There are times - and I think that we've all been there - when it can be pretty tough to come to work in the morning. Times when you wonder if all of the hard work is really making a difference. Times when you question the value of what you're doing.

That's why seeing a note like this is such a ray of sunshine. It's a notice that somebody, somewhere, is seeing that value and changing the way they think. That little piece of encouragement can go a long way.

So Megan Enloe, thank you. Chris Hall (aka hallicious), thank you. I'm at work on Monday morning and I feel great. Let's slay some dragons!

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Saturday, October 17, 2009

why backups are a good idea

Cable fire
Originally uploaded by f650biker
Note: This post refers to a commercially available service that's owned by some friends of mine: Rob May and Jason Falls.

I've always been kind of a computer geek (my wife would probably remove the "kind of.") I was the first kid on the block with a Macintosh back in the 80's, and was among the early adopters of something called "Chicago Online" (a piece of a fledgling service called "America Online") in the early 90s.

I've also been trying for years to digitize everything - and that includes photos. I've been storing photos digitally for years, but have been positively militant about it since my eldest daughter was born in 2000. But one thing I was never very good about was backup. Part of the blame goes to Windows, which always made backing up a lot harder than it ought to be (I'm back to Mac now, BTW). But mostly, I was just lazy.

When the hard drive on my Dell Dimension blew, I knew I was in trouble. I sent it in to one of those mail-order recovery places to see if they could help. I was willing to spend $2,000 to get my data back, but the only stuff I cared about was the pictures.

It didn't work - I lost everything, and only had about half of the pictures backed up. My mom was able to fill in some of the gaps from CDs I'd sent her over the years, but it was still pretty devastating.

Now most of my pictures are taken on my iPhone and uploaded directly to flickr - which means that I don't have to worry so much about my hard drive any more. But what about flickr? What if they go down - or out of business? And for that matter, what about all the work I've put in to building effective social networks on facebook and twitter? And even this humble blog contains some stuff that I wouldn't particularly want to lose.

I've finally gotten smart. I'm now using a service called Backupify to back up all of my online accounts. At $29 per year, it's a lot more economical than the $2,000 I was willing to pay to recover my hard drive. I'm using it to back up my accounts at:
google docs
gmail; and

I'm hoping that, as the service grows, they'll also start offering backups for my accounts at:
google reader; and

The best part about it is that - for today only - backupify is FREE for one year.

Disclosure Alert a la Hallicious.comBackupify is giving away three Amazon Gift Cards, in a random drawing, to individuals who blog about it and list a service that they would like Backupify to backupify. This post is my entry into that contest. You can participate by following the instructions here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The wrong side of the velvet rope

I've been hearing a lot lately about the value of the "velvet rope social network*." As a business person, this sounds pretty interesting. It conjures up images of inviting just the right customers or suppliers into a snug, fancy little room to talk shop and share witty repartee. Or a social club where you can feel totally safe and at home because you know exactly who the other members are.

One of my new favorite bloggers, Julia Roy, blogged here about luxury brands who use velvet-rope social networks to connect with their customers.

But there's a downside. Exclusive sounds cool until you're the one being excluded.

One of the brands that Julia highlighted was Mercedes-Benz and their velvet rope social network, Generation Benz. I happen to be a Benz enthusiast, so I figured that I'd go check this bad boy out. I linked to the site, and had my first interaction with their "doorman" (played by this innocuous questionnaire; I imagine him as a huge, HGH-swilling beast):
I'm pretty suave, so I casually hit the "continue" button. He came right back with:

Yeah. You know that Benz wants to know what cool guys in their late 30s and older 40s are thinking.

DOH! Denied! Now I REALLY want to know what's going on behind that rope.

There's a moral to this story, right? It could be this one:
Be sure to hire the right bouncer, because he might keep out the very folks you want to have in your club.

But more likely it's this one:
Exclusivity feels nice for a while, but it's mostly just lousy to keep people out. That's what I teach my kids; why should the social web be different?

Since velvet ropes seem to be the coming thing, I'd love to know what you think!

*BIZARRE SIDE NOTE: I linked above to a video of Chris Brogan talking about velvet rope social networks, because I know that he's been interested in them. I didn't realize until after I'd posted the link that this video was filmed at my company, and that I am sitting stage right, looking up admiringly at Chris. Irony; you've got to love it.

Bouncer photo by Tawny Rockerazzi

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why Google is a "Best company to work for"

Because their toilets have heated seats and an automated bidet functionality. How do you compete with that? Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Consuming Louisville" is a winner!

I just wanted to give a shout-out to my friend Michelle Jones who runs Consuming Louisville. Her brilliant blog was just named Best Entertainment Blog and runner-up for Best Local Site in the LEO Weekly Readers Choice Awards.
Michelle cares more about Louisville than anyone I know, and that love comes through in her writing every day. Way to go, Michelle!

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Customer service to die for

I love good food, good drinks, fast cars, photography and New York City. I've been an Apple fanboy my entire life and worked on Final Cut Pro for 6 years.

You should follow me on twitter here.

I’m a cofounder at Posterous.




Sachin Agarwal's profile »


So, I've been using posterous for a few months now, and loving it. I especially love the posterous bookmarklet that I can use to grab content from any web page, and blog about it here.

One thing I DON'T like is that, when I use the bookmarklet, I don't have access to any HTML controls (e.g., to embed hyperlinks). So I used the feedback option on the site to make that suggestion.

I got a response back from Sachin, the founder of the company, in less than 20 minutes indicating that he liked my idea, and would add it to the queue to be evaluated.

I know that personal service like that isn't always possible, and its probably not terribly scalable. but it sure as heck is nice when you can get it.

Thanks, Sachin, for the motivation to keep my customer service top-notch.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Religion and the Internet

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about the intersection of two important areas of my life - the social web and my faith.

I am a Christian, and am in the middle of a pretty intensive 2-year bible study program called Discipleship Curriculum. Our group meets every Monday at 6am (yes, that hurts!) and we have 4-5 hours of reading and work every week. To try and keep it all straight, I set up a private Ning site for my group.

I've actually put a lot of work into it, but it doesn't get used much. While there are a bunch of guys in my group who are on facebook, most of them have been pretty cautious (or uninterested) in the social web more broadly. And in my thoroughly unresearched opinion, that seems to be a microcosm of most American Christians.

I do read a few Christian blogs (I like the Evangelical Outpost and OpinionStreams) and the pastors at my church (Dave Stone and Kyle Idelman) have recently started blogging.

But a friend of mine, Frank Reed (of Frankly Thinking) recently asked me whether I knew of many really forward-thinking churches or ministries relative to the social web. I couldn't come up with many.

I know that there are probably more than I am aware of ... but also that there are less than there probably ought to be. Given the literally hundreds of millions of people who are using the social web, many for hours per day, it seems crazy not to have a stronger presence in the space ... if only to better understand the folks to whom we can offer help and hope.

I can't help but think that Jesus' teachings fit the social web perfectly ... he came to serve and love everyone. He came to offer wisdom, hope, and help. He came to connect people to him and to each other. All of those missions fit.

I'm going to keep pondering how the Christian movement can be more present on the web ... but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts and ideas, be they "for, against or otherwise."

Photo by Daquella manera

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Thursday, September 17, 2009

When you stop and relax for a minute ...

It's amazing what you can find when you just STOP ... and spend some time BEING. I went outside with my daughters last week, and just sat on the curb while they were tracing themselves in sidewalk chalk.

After a while, I just listened to them while looking up at the sky. It was incredibly peaceful. I took a couple of iPhone snapshots, including the one above (more at I had more or less forgotten them when I saw this on @armano's posterous ... which inspired me to share my own fluffy clouds.

Take a minute today to relax and look up!

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I apologize for what I'm about to do

My wife borrowed this little garden spade from Loew's, but she had to give it back a week later. It turns out that the free trowel period had ended.

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous

Monday, September 14, 2009

The People's Republic may need a new PR agency

 Uphold the basic economic system with public ownership playing a dominant role, tra-la

I love this example of a slogan that the Chinese government has approved to celebrate its 60th anniversary. As a longtime corporate hack, I don't pretend to be a guru in marketing or advertising.

But even as an amateur, the slogan below doesn't seem to roll trippingly off the tongue. Perhaps its lost something in translation? ;-)

'Citizens might lift their spirits with a list of 50 officially approved slogans issued to mark national day (soldiers have been ordered to post them up and shout them in their camps). “Uphold the basic economic system with public ownership playing a dominant role and diverse forms of economic ownership developing together, and with the practice of distribution according to work being carried out as the mainstay alongside other forms of distribution,” goes a particularly snappy one.'

Thanks to the brilliantly wry writing of The Economist ...

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What it feels like to be 9

I just spent a glorious day in my hometown that included a walk along the former railroad bed through the center of town, an amazing farmer's market (with live and excellent bluegrass tunes), a trip to the kids science museum, a birthday party, a hike in the woods and an evening swim. Along the way my brother captured this picture that sort of summed up the day for me. Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fixing health care on the back of a napkin - Or not.

I love the guys at digital roam's "back of the napkin" blog. Their mission is to visualize issues and to eliminate jargon and technobabble so that the average person can make sense of complex issues. And that's a great mission.

But with all the talk about health reform lately, I am concerned that there are an awful lot of people trying to simplify the problem. And it just isn't simple. The back of the napkin gang has gotten one thing very right: That health reform isn't about health reform anymore; it's about health insurance reform.

Full disclosure; I work for an insurance company. It'll be no surprise to you that I think my company does a lot of good and adds a lot of value for a lot of people. I wouldn't work there otherwise. And there are clearly things that need to be reformed in the insurance (payor's) part of the healthcare equation just as there are on the parts of the doctors and patients (the napkins address the docs and payors in their analysis, but not-so-much on the patients). But the picture above shows how the back-of-the-napkin guys have simplified an issue so much that they have fundamentally changed reality.  I'm going to assume that this is an error rather than a subtle way of using their bully pulpit to support their own viewpoint.  But insurance didn't "jump between me and my doctor" to ration care.  Your employer told your insurance company what it was willing to pay for.  And that's just one, obvious example.

There's a quotation on this subject that I really like, and I wish I could remember who said it: "For every complex problem, there is a simple solution. And it's wrong."

That's where we are here. Both in the health reform "debate" [read: propaganda wars] and in the (presumably well-intentioned) back of the napkin summary, we're dumbing down a complex problem to the point where we're not actually educating anybody on anything.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Humana Takes Health to the Streets With B-cycle Bike Sharing | Fast Company

Humana's Innovation Center has been on a mission for the last two years - a mission to create a social revolution in health And that revolution isn't focused on making healthy stuff more fun - it's focused on making FUN stuff more HEALTHY.

Bcycle is our most mature effort to date in this regard. The joint venture between Humana, Trek and Crispin Porter + Bogusky has already sold a major bikesharing system in to the city of Denver (which will launch in 2010).

We've always felt confident that what we were doing was going to make a difference - but it's nice to get validation from a publication that most of us read religiously (Fast Company).
Hopefully, this exposure will inspire others to get into the game, and to join the Health Revolution.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Science Girl

"Can I keep these pennies, Dad?" We have a standing rule in our house that if you find loose change lying around, you get to keep it. Big A found a couple of pennies in my car while we were on our way out to breakfast, and decided that today would be a great day to do some science experiments. Her sister is visiting my parents for the weekend, and she's been having a lot of fun being the center of attention. She had done an experiment at preschool that involves mixing water, white vinegar and salt into a solution, and dropping in a bunch dirty pennies. Turns out, it works! We were able to make some nasty old pennies look brand new! And big A, who is usually relegated to the "Igor the Assistant" role in her sisters science projects, got to be the lead scientist. And everybody needs that once in a while!
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The ultimate business card - TAT Augmented ID

This is a fascinating concept that I read about on Greg Verdino's Marketing Blog this morning.

Meeting people who share (or challenge) your interests at conferences has never been easier thanks to twitter. By listening in on a conference's tweetstream using a hashtag and a twitter client tool like Tweetchat or Tweetdeck, you can easily see who's saying what about the conference. But often, you can't connect with the people who are actually presenting - because they're usually not on twitter while they're on stage (otherwise, why be on stage at all?).

However, a Swedish design firm called TAT has released a video for a new "augmented ID" concept that would recognize the face of a person, and then visually show whatever networking info that person wanted to have shown at that time.

But what's really interesting (to me, anyway) is what other contexts this might work well in. What are the potential applications for gaming, for example? Imagine an alternative reality game (ARG) that was able to display characteristics about the gamer in real life - that would be amazing.

Anyway, it would appear that this TAT product is still in concept phase (rather than an actual product), but when it does hit the streets, it'll be interesting to see how people use it.

What do you think about using a tool like this? What new applications would you have for it? What concerns does it raise?

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Geeking out with new social tools | (beta)

Geeking out with new social tools on

As usual, I like keeping abreast of interesting tools for helping people interact and collaborate. I've been hearing about for a while, but was finally convinced to explore it more deeply after hearing about it on the Quick and Dirty podcast with Aaron Strout and Jennifer Leggio.

12seconds, which allows you (surprise) to record or upload no more than 12 seconds of video at a time, is being billed as "twitter for video." I'm not entirely sure that I buy that description, since one of the main attractions of twitter is that you can actually move pretty robust content over the web quickly, from anywhere, with limited effort.

Recording 12 seconds of video from a webcam isn't exactly difficult, but how would I embed a link for example? Now, if there was a way to attach a link over the video, THAT would be cool.

How are you using 12 seconds? If it's an interesting platform, what would put it over the top in terms of features or usability?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

hallicious » Can “Free” Work for Enterprise Applications?

If the data is important enough, there really isn’t a mitigation plan in the world that will appease decision makers who are concerned about this risk. Deferring the costs of owning, operating, maintaining and upgrading software and servers sounds awesome, no arguments there. However, transferring the risk of catastrophic failure to a start-up or even a company the size of Google, with limited to no recourse, sounds unfathomable to most large organizations with a need to control…

It's amazing the transformation that can occur when people have a voice ... which is one of the reasons I've become so passionate about the revolution that social media is engendering in our lives and in our work.

By finding that voice - and a chorus of new voices that push, challenge, support and oppose that voice - a new kind of growth is happening. I see it in myself. I've never been one to thrive on connectedness, and had always maintained pretty intense levels of privacy.
But ever since I decided to "put myself out there" I've discovered tremendous value from connecting with others. They inspire me, they push me, and sometimes they even make fun of me. But the experience has definitely changed me in a positive way. The link you see on this post comes from a guy I work with - Chris Hall. He came to the Innovation Center as a project manager a little less than a year ago. And in that time, he has (through tireless pursuit) become a really, really good social media thinker. In fact, the way that Chris has grown over the last year has made me think differently about how people work - and how vital it is to pursue your passions.
What has pushed you to grow? Does riding the waves of "social" inspire your growth as it has for Chris and I?

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Friday, July 3, 2009

Greg's Summer Classics Reading Program

Our modern lives sometimes feel lacking in the adventure department - or at least mine does. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. And I certainly have plenty of drama - just not enough adventure, in the classic literary sense.

I've also become aware that, as a professional, I get jam-packed with reading from business books, blogs and magazines. And I'm in the midst of an intensive 21-month bible study program at church that involves 4-5 hours of study (I hate to call it homework) per week. When you throw bi-weekly Baseball America in there, there's not a lot of room for pure leisure reading.

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone by creating Greg's Summer Classics Reading Program. I kicked it off last May with 3 books that I'd never read, but now absolutely love. [I should point out at this juncture that I had failed in this experiment in the summer of 2007 by starting with Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. While I may one day share the common opinion that this book is a wonder, its density caused me to slowly grind to a halt somewhere around the 4th chapter. EPIC FAIL!] Anyway, the 3 books I tackled in the summer of 2008 were:

The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

I absolutely loved all 3 of these books . . . and incidentally, they helped me to understand Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn a lot better. Tom had clearly read all three when he decided to break Jim out of prison! They're fast-paced, have great characters and twisty plots, and can be read while drinking a Manhattan on your porch [trust me, I can verify this fact].

The program was such a success last summer that I decided to give it another shot. My 3 selections for this summer are (DRUM ROLL):

Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
The Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
Dracula - Bram Stoker

I'm halfway through Cyrano, and am loving it. Cyrano's character is brilliant (in fact, one of his oratories will be the subject of an upcoming blog post at

What books are YOU reading this summer? What adventure classics do I need to add to my list? Your comments are welcome . . .

Social Business Design

Social Business Design
Originally uploaded by David Armano

Not only am I pretty intrigued by this visual rendering of the Social Business by David Armano, I am trying to figure out how to embed flicker images in blog posts (thereby clearly adding value and attribution to the image creator) rather than just downloading the image and reposting it.
I'm working on a blog post now for in which I hope to use this image.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Greg does Dallas

Last month I had the pleasure of presenting at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Dallas, hosted by Chris Brogan and Justin Levy. The summit featured a great crowd of folks that I was honored to be a part of - and I always get excited about telling the Humana story.

I have collected some artifacts from that presentation to share. While my session wasn't videotaped, I did have the pleasure of being interviewed by Amber Rae Lambke of Leverage Software (a Chicago girl - always a plus!).

I also saved my presentation materials to Slideshare; while they lose something without the talk-track, I'll provide them here anyway; if you're really interested you can download the presentation with speaker notes and it'll probably make more sense.

Next week I'll be in Boston for the Enterprise 2.0 conference; looking forward to being a panelist along with Peter Kim (Dachis Corporation), Ben Foster (Allstate) and Morgan Johnston (JetBlue).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Introducing the Insert Coin Game Contest, 8-Bit Style! | Crumple it up!

[NOTE: This post contains updated statistics]

As many of you know, my company, Humana, has become a leader in creating games for health. Two of our recent efforts, the America's Horsepower Challenge and Operation Planet Savers, have been really well received.

We're working on a lot more health-related games now. In addition to our own ideas, we're also working with interesting folks at Georgia Tech, USC, MIT and Stanford on developing healthy game concepts.

But now, for the first time, we're soliciting ideas from gamers themselves. Our "Insert Coin" idea competition was launched last week at the Games for Health conference, and we're hoping to get thousands of great ideas from gamers all over the world. For my part, my team has been working on ways to use social media to drive awareness and interest in the game.

Our first effort was to create a video to get people's attention. And it has. Over the first 48 hours since we released the video, almost 60,000 [stats as of 9am on 6/18 are over 80,000 views] people have watched it - putting it in the top 50 most-watched videos on YouTube. Given that 10 hours of video are uploaded every minute, we think that's pretty good! [YouTube now reports that 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute; expecting 24 hours per minute by the end of June]

Check the blog for more information and submit your ideas for the contest at

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Media Academic Summit 09

I had the pleasure of sitting on a really interesting panel last week hosted by Edelman's Rick Murray. I was on the panel with Alex Wheeler from Starbucks, Aaron Lilly from Microsoft and Richard Brewer-Hay from eBay.

You can watch the video from the panel here.

We had a pretty good dialog going on how each of us goes about engaging our customers to create content that benefits both them and us.

I felt a little outgunned in terms of coolness, but managed to meet a ton of interesting people, many of whom I've already been back in touch with. Hoping that this will lead to more opportunities for me to share Humana's social media story with the world.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back to the Ballfield

Baseball Players
Originally uploaded by ChiMoose

I'm a blessed man - I have two daughters. I wasn't always sure that would be a blessing . . . I grew up in a house with 3 boys, and didn't have the first clue what it would be like to have little girls.

As any dad can tell you, having daughters is incredible. You have instant hero status that will hopefully last a lifetime. I realized that playing dressups, Barbies and Polly Pockets can be fun (it's not all that different from the GI Joe I grew up with; instead of a kung fu grip, many of our Barbies sing).

I also learned that there's nothing cuter than ballet and piano recitals, and the first back walkover in gymnastics is a significant athletic feat. My oldest daughter has even begun to dabble in basketball, which I've coached for the last two years.

But as a boy, I spent my summers on a baseball field - and that's something I missed. Until now. For whatever reason, Ellie has decided that she's into baseball . . . it seems to have happened at her last Louisville Bats game; the first one she ever really tried to pay attention to.

She started requesting a baseball glove. Fearing that it was going to be a fashion accessory as opposed to sporting goods, I decided that if she was really interested, she could start learning to play catch - sans glove - with a tennis ball. Not only did she like it, but she's actually pretty good at it.

So last week, we made a pilgrimage to Dick's Sporting Goods and picked out baseball gloves for both girls (Avery always wants to do everything Ellie does!). We played catch together on Saturday afternoon, and before bedtime we oiled our gloves and tied them up with a shoelace to break them in (just like I did when I was a kid!).

We repeated the whole routine on Sunday, and will hopefully continue to do so throughout the summer. With any luck, I'll be back on the baseball field by next summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Not a fan

Social currency has been getting a lot of press for the last few years. Ever since Friendster gave way to MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, their users have rediscovered the fact that there is value - whether real or perceived - in who you know.

What's interesting is that, in recognizing that value, it's been distorted in strange ways. What began as a way of reconnecting with old friends and finding new ones didn't take long to devolve into a race to add friends and fans. The quantity of "relationships" (use that word loosely!) became more important than the inherent value they brought. And this new "relationship as currency" works two ways.
  1. I want to rack up as many fans of my facebook page as possible to prove how valuable I am to know!
  2. I want to associate myself with people, bands, athletes and causes that I think are cool in the hopes that, by my affiliation, I'll inherit some of their coolness

And it's in that context that my church has started to talk about our relationship with Jesus in a way that distinguishes between "fan" and "follower." For those of you who aren't Christians, this message doesn't really apply - directly. But it may shed some light on what Christianity really is . . . and it's probably different from what you think.

A lot of people think that being a Christian means that you try really hard to do what's right. And true Christians can often be identified through their deeds. But the point is that you can admire Jesus' miracles and the way he lived his life . . . you can even believe that he's the son of God and be restored to a relationship with God as a result. But those are "fan" behaviors. Being a follower is something else entirely.

Jesus tells us what's required of his followers - his truly committed followers - many times. Here are two that stand out to me:

Luke 9:23 - Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

John 12:26 - "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me."

There's no mistaking the level of commitment required through those verses. And I can say that today I'm more like a fan of Jesus than a completely committed follower. But I'm ready to change that. I'm committed to starting every day with a recognition that not only is Jesus my Savior, but also my Lord . . . and I'm going to pray to deny my own desires in favor of his will in my life. In other words, I will pray to die to myself just as Christ did when he accepted the humiliation of death on a cross.

I'm scared to publish this post. I don't know what people will think of me if they read it. But I do know that I can't really be a completely committed follower of Christ if I let those things stop me - and unless I am completely ready to accept the consequences. I may lose some fans - or some friends. But at the end of the day, none of that matters relative to living as Christ has asked me to.

If you'd like to find out more, please feel free to reach out to me, or to visit

Thursday, April 30, 2009

PicoCool - Her Morning Elegance

Wow. If you have any interest in the incredibly creative use of video, you should really watch this stop-motion piece.
I don't know a lot about video - yet - but would love to be able to do work like this. Kudos to the creators and actors.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dell Customer Service Update

Remember when I posted about my disappointment in Dell's customer service? I was pretty sure that I was going to hear back from someone there right away. But I didn't, so I forgot about it.

But then, a couple of weeks later, BAM! I had messages on twitter from the famous @richardatdell and one of his honchos, @rich_at_dell. They were real, live, personal, non-form-letter messages indicating that they'd read my blog post and wanted to see how they could help. I have to admit that I'm impressed.

If you'll remember, I was in the middle of trying to resolve a technical issue when my warranty ran out . . . so I'm hoping that my warranty will be "extended" for long enough to finish solving the problem.

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The telepathic iPod

You've got to hand it to Apple - they're always coming up with exciting new features for their line of consumer electronics products.
I discovered one accidentally on my way home from work today - my iPod is telepathically connected with me and my surroundings.

I'm 41 years old, which means that I came of age in the 80s. I grew up in southern Indiana, a good midwestern boy listening to some serious hair bands.

I also grew up driving a convertible, thanks to my dad who bought his in 1966 (and still has it). So picture me, my mullet flying in the wind, rocking out to Quiet Riot, Iron Maiden and Motley Crue on my way to the drive-in (where I'd sip Bartles & Jaymes coolers and Little Kings - but don't tell my parents).

Anyway, I've always dreamed of driving my own convertible. That dream has only gotten stronger since moving away from Chicago for the warmer climes of Louisville. So this spring, I bought one. My own version of the economic stimulus package, if you will.

Today is the first REALLY nice day of spring - 70 and sunny on the way home from work. So I dropped the top, hit shuffle on my 30-gig iPod, (4,000 songs in every imaginable genre) and headed for home. My iPod was sensing me winding down from the day, and started me off with some John Coltrane as I picked through the traffic downtown.

As I pulled onto River Road and opened things up a bit, the music that reminded me of being 16 again started up. Van Halen - Running with the Devil. VH was a revelation as a freshman - the hardest rocking band I'd ever heard (before that I never got fiercer than Styx or Journey). Next, Night Ranger's "Don't tell me you love me." This, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated songs of the hair era (haira?).
Then, as if that wasn't enough, the set closed out with the Scorpions, who proceeded to "Rock me like a hurricane."
I pulled into the garage feeling like a kid again and gave a hug to my waiting 9-year-old. I wonder what music and experiences are going to shape her teen years?

And what features will those geniuses at Apple think of next?

Posted via email from chimoose's posterous